Just Politics

As many of you know, I am in Boston. The city has transformed into a place I've never seen. It's all for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) being held this week. We've got red zones for security purposes, highways and roads shut down, etc.

Just about every hot restaurant, bar, club, and building seems to be booked for private parties. Everyone from the Clintons to the Red Hot Chili Peppers are here.

About 15,000 people covering event happenings, along with several bloggers who've been credentialed to cover the event. Roughly 200 applied and 35 were accepted.

These bloggers look and sound very different than the journalists we know. BY no means are they here to replace journalists. They are here to add a new dimension of coverage. Keep in mind that blogging was in its infancy during the last election in 2000.

"They are igniting a great deal of enthusiasm and energy among partisans, at least among some of the very political blogs out there," Howard Finberg, faculty member of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida told



Some bloggers are powerful. In fact, a few have already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for candidates.

Rebecca Blood, a popular blogger, posted that she did not apply to blog, but is attending and viewing the event from the "inside." Here are some of her tips to bloggers.

  • Make friends with a media liaison. The media liaisons are there to ensure that the press has something to write about. They provide schedules of events. They suggest stories for the press to cover. They distribute talking points.
  • Make friends with a professional journalist. The journalists who are covering the event may have covered other conventions, or at least they know journalists who have.
  • Observe the pros. Watch what the pros do. If you can, listen to them talk amongst themselves.
  • Share your information about the convention with the other bloggers. This isn't an event where there is likely to be any "breaking news"--it's too carefully scripted for that.
  • After the convention, share your information with the next wave. A different set of bloggers will likely be credentialed for the Republican National Convention.
  • Understand the role you've been given. From the perspective of the DNC, you (bloggers, conventioneers, and press) are a giant public relations engine.

    Although we'll have to sift through more and more commentary, blogging will provide a fresh look at daily happenings. It allows surfers at large to post and comment. In fact, several news publications have already incorporated comment fields on their respective sites.

    The bloggers have been sectioned off in a separate area from the professional media. Do you think bloggers will be treated like second-class citizens? Will traffic to blogs increase? Will any bloggers step up to the plate and write what they want to write? Shouldn't democracy be interactive?

    Post your comments on the Spin Board.

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